Hey, hey 🙂
How is everyone’s week going so far? I’m feeling pretty great in the second week of the Find Your Balance February challenge. This weekend was a perfect balance of indulgent and requirement. I made my very first from-scratch cupcakes for Meagan’s birthday: Chocolate Mint Cupcakes from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over The World!
I was super excited to make them but super nervous at the same time. I read the book’s introduction to familiarize myself with necessary tools, ingredients & techniques. Then I read the ingredients and directions through about 10 times before heading to the grocery store. I bought everything I needed including a carrying tray and decorating kit then read the ingredients another 10 times.
I baked the cupcakes on Friday night and used every ounce of restraint in my body not to eat half the batter. OOOOMG batter 😀
I decorated them on Saturday morning and topped them off with a piece of Camino mint dark chocolate and used the remaining morsels of restraint I had not to stuff my face before they made it to Meag’s. OOOOMG icing 😀
They were 100% approved by vegans (me) and non-vegans (everyone else) alike. Everyone said they never would have known they were vegan and I was even asked for the recipe. WIN!
Usually when I enter into this kind of foreign activity I either totally win or totally womp. I’m going to pat myself on the back and say this one was a win 😉
On the requirement side of things, which I guess I need to share before you think I survived on only cupcakes for the rest of the weekend, I had some delicious smoothies packed with extra power foods like wheatgrass & raw cacao. Since we had pineapple in the house I couldn’t resist a Green-a-Colada and I also bought some frozen cherries to bring back my all-time favourite chocolate cherry bomb smoothie.
I had a few killer workouts, especially the new BodyStep – holy crap! I did not think my heart rate would stay so high in the class I consider by B-level cardio. How have I not tested the Polar at BodyAttack yet?!
I am also pretty proud of last week’s balance of yoga, strength & cardio workouts. Here’s my plan for this week:
Monday – BodyStep
Tuesday – BodyPump + CX Worx (core)
Wednesday – Hot Flow
Thursday – BodyAttack
Friday – Hot Yoga
Saturday – BodyPump OR solo weights session
Sunday – OFF 🙂
Now… since I’ve left your mouth totally water for cupcakes (how mean), I thought I’d share the recipe for Isa Chandra’s basic chocolate cupcakes from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over The World. They serve as the base for many of her cupcake recipes, including the chocolate mint. I’ve seen the recipe shared on several blogs & recipe sites including chow.com so I figured it was safe to share it here!
Basic Chocolate Cupcake Recipe
Makes 12 cupcakes
- 1 cup soy milk
- 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- 1/3 cup canola oil
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- ½ tsp almond extract, chocolate extract, or more vanilla extract
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/3 cup cocoa powder (Dutch processed or regular)
- ¾ tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp baking powder
- ¼ tsp salt
- Preheat oven to 350°F and line a muffin pan (preferably aluminum) with paper or foil liners.
- Whisk together the soy milk and vinegar in a large bowl and set aside for a few minutes to curdle. Add the sugar, oil, vanilla extract, and other extract, if using, to the soy milk mixture and beat until foamy. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Add in two batches to wet ingredients and beat until no large lumps remain (a few tiny lumps are OK).
- Pour into liners, filling ¾ of the way. Bake 18-20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Transfer to a cooling rack and let cool completely.
- Decorate accordingly.
- Do not overfill cupcake liners. If your pouring results in 11 filled liners instead of 12 your cupcakes will be a little rounded on top and the icing won’t sit as nicely (i.e. it will droop to one side and might completely fall off… so then you will definitely have to eat that one…)
- Using an aluminum pan will make softer, fluffier cupcakes than stainless steel muffin pans. Do the magnet test: If a magnet sticks, its not aluminum.
- Sift, sift, sift. Do not rely on just mixing. The end result is so much better.
- Let cool COMPLETELY before decorating. This is why I baked them the night before to avoid an impatient Lizzie 😉
- I don’t recommend trying to make these gluten-free. Basic all-purpose flour results in a totally different final product if you ask me. Lucky for the gluten-sensitive there are gluten-free cupcake recipes in the book.
- You can sub some whole-wheat pastry flour (not regular whole wheat flour) as per Isa’s recommendations in the book’s intro BUT whole wheat flour results in a more dense cupcake.
Go get em, Martha- I mean Isa! 😉